Edging Away From Gomorrah


(In working on “The Ballad of the Ordinary Man,” I feel a deep need to make it simple and elegant. Some of the pieces I am doing are, actually, pre-requisites of a sort for that piece. We are tinkering away at discrete issues, but our ills are primarily structural. Our foundation has been badly damaged – and getting new windows is not going to fix that. A quick example is the commitment to free speech. I hated it when, a few decades ago, the law came up with the concept of “hate speech,” which could ‘lawfully’ be proscribed. On the one hand, I knew the definition would expand like the stain from a puddle of spilled wine – and ultimately be used for politically partisan purposes. I knew also that the result, even if successful, would not be ‘correct’ thought. Convincing someone to shut up is not the same thing as convincing them, as a wise man once said. Finally, the alternative to settling disputes by arguments and discourse has ever been settling them by violence and force. So proscribing “hate speech” would not result in less hate, but in more violence – and more hate from people who had been forcibly shut up. Even people of good will had lost sight of the primary reason why America had committed to such a rigorous free speech regime – and injected a destabilizing volatility to the culture because of a failure to be able to defend the principles underlying that commitment to free speech. Now, almost all conservative speech is described as hate speech or “violence” by the left, while actual violence on behalf of leftist nostrums is described as resistance. We are closer to Rwanda right now than we think. If I did not know that God IS, and that Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart WILL triumph, I would be in despair. I published the following article last June. It helps lay the groundwork for the piece I am working on-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

“How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” – Luke 13:34

To be a serious student of history does not engender optimism. The arc of history no more bends towards justice than the arc of botany bends toward elegantly intricate formal gardens. Both history and gardens are what men shape them to be. If the men of an age are brutish and crude, so will it be with the history and gardens they leave behind them.

All of recorded history is a monotonous repetition of various factions of men seeking to rule through the use of force and violence, taking command, ruling ruthlessly, then ultimately collapsing or being overthrown by other factions using the same tactics against them. It is the default setting for humanity. The founding of Christianity carved out what should have been an enclave for personal conscience and dissent. Certainly its founder, Jesus Christ, insisted that people were to come to Him by evangelization rather than coercion. People are supposed to know we are Christians by our love for each other and for all. It sometimes worked that way. The way for Christianity to be favored in ancient Rome was paved even in the midst of the persecutions as more than a few Roman tribunals turned a blind eye to Christians in their midst and encouraged the same in their superiors. The reason? Christians were noted for giving care and succor to all, regardless of religion – and the Romans were hard put to provide adequate relief, themselves, to the suffering. Alas, when prosperous and dominant, Christians, themselves, have often used the human tools of oppression, force and violence to enforce their will, quite in defiance of our Founder.

The Anglo-Saxons were notable in, over time, limiting the power even of kings. The Magna Carta of 1215 was an early formal document limiting that power, but it was not quite the bold statement on the rights of man many imagine it to be. It merely limited the king’s arbitrary power over feudal barons – barons who still retained arbitrary, brute power over the common people in their own lands. Still, this seed sprouted over centuries into a growing conviction that men had some rights that even a victorious king could not trespass against. In the century before the American Revolution, England had advanced quite remarkably in respecting the rights of minorities in the home country, even as raw force and brute power were the means to control the common rabble in most of the rest of Europe. Whatever refinement England had developed on the subject rarely applied to its colonial subjects.

Most (though not all) of the religious wars were only tangentially religious: they were wars for territory or dominance and used religion as a fig leaf over the real intentions or to whip troops into a fighting frenzy. Even so, religious authorities often did themselves no honor. Everyone knows about the Catholic executions of people for heresy. Fewer are aware that after the Reformation, the Protestants executed an order of magnitude more “witches” than the Catholics ever did heretics. England’s King Henry VIII embarked on a murderous, bloody repression of Catholics after he founded the Anglican Church. When, a century later, Catholics re-took power in England they embarked on the same murderous, bloody repression of Protestants. When the Protestants re-took power, more of the same. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Catholic France was a sickening episode of treachery and slaughter. The Catholic King had lured Protestant Hueguenots to Paris for the marriage of his sister, Marguerite to the Protestant King Henry III of Navarre, pretending a reconciliation. Then was launched several weeks of targeted assassinations and mob violence against the Protestants who had come under the banner and promise of peace. With St. Joan of Arc, I was particularly struck when I first learned that the evil conspirators took a break in the midst of her trial to celebrate Holy Week. It was striking they did not see the stark parallels between the judicial murder of Jesus, which they were celebrating and the judicial murder of Joan, which they were committing. Even had Joan been a fraud, her accusers would have brought the wrath of God on themselves for their malice, lies and deceptions. They decided from the beginning there was no acceptable outcome but her death – and lied, cheated and deceived to get it. Most despicable, her tormentors constantly claimed that they did what they did out of “charity and love” for her. Nicholas Loyseleur, who spied on Joan in her cell while pretending to be her friend, recommended out of “charity” for her soul and “love” for her person that she be tortured until she confess. There ever has been a species of false piety that deceives itself by calling its malice charity and its vicious assaults love. But God gets His own in striking ironies: Nicholas Midi preached a two-hour homily preceding the burning of St. Joan, comparing her relentlessly to a leprosy on the Body of Christ. He insisted the only way to deal with leprosy was to burn it out entirely. Shortly after her death, Midi was consumed with leprosy and died miserably.

The Enlightenment rose among French intellectuals in the very late 17th Century, explicitly elevating the “rights of man” as a primary philosophical and political imperative. The American Revolution was the first flowering of the Enlightenment – and the only flowering before the divorce of faith and reason. If the Enlightenment did well in enshrining the “rights of man” as a priority, it disastrously redefined the nature of man as a consumer – a complicated animal – rather than a subordinate creator imbued with innate dignity from his Divine Creator. Faith without reason is mere superstition, but reason without faith quickly degenerates into unreasoning brutality and tyranny.

Soon, all revolutions and upheavals were done in the name of “the people” rather than national glory – and the new humanists seemed determined to show that when it came to murderous mayhem visited on innocents, religious folk were shabby second-raters compared to the new leftist utopians. The French Revolution overthrew the established order and God along with it, while terrorizing the people of France (in the name of “the people,” of course) until the terror consumed quite a few leaders of the revolution, as well. Order was finally re-established, if a bit rockily, with the rise of Napoleon. The atheist utopian movements of the 20th Century alone (Bolshevism, Nazism, Chinese Communism) butchered more people than were killed in all the religious wars of history combined. Nothing changed with the Enlightenment except that murder was always done in the name of “the people” and the ambitious hyper-charged their murderous rage, unconstrained by concern that they might ultimately face a just God. If some people did not bend to their utopian schemes, their response was to kill the dissenters – and then surely utopia would reign.

Strikingly, there has not been a genuine intellectual among the monstrous “idealistic” revolutionaries who have shed so much blood, except perhaps for Vladimir Lenin (who had some real abstract heft, but was seriously deficient in logic and in the practical matter of administration). Lenin was also the only one who, reaching the end of his life, was sincere enough and smart enough to see he had erred, perhaps tragically. He had unleashed brutal methods for a half-baked idealistic cause and came to suspect that, in his aftermath, it would be all brutality and no idealism. “I am, I believe, strongly guilty before the workers of Russia…” he wrote in his last year – and denounced Josef Stalin – but too late. The utopian ideologues imagine themselves to be enlightened, even though they wholly abandon intellectual rigor. They embrace an ideology which, they think, explains everything, so it relieves them of the obligation of actual study and learning. They mount childish, unexamined fantasies as the formula for utopia. Any failure has to be the result of sabotage or incorrect thinking. Rather than examine themselves critically, they attack critics, first denouncing them, then jailing them, then (with no Christianity to restrain them) executing them. Even massive executions do not make their crackpot schemes any more effective, so they almost always end by executing allies before the whole project collapses. The contrast between the dull-witted, but thuggish, stupidity of the atheist utopians and their fatuous self-regard as brilliant and enlightened is remarkable.

Somehow the leftist utopian movements almost always incorporate some form of genocide before they collapse. In Revolutionary France, it was against aristocrats – and some Jacobin partisans complained that not enough children of aristocrats were being regularly executed on the guillotine. In Russia, it was the kulaks (peasant landholders). Kulaks were always regarded by the Soviets as enemies of the state, for anyone who owned a cow, two chickens and a quarter acre of land was obviously an incipient capitalist. Some seven million kulaks were intentionally starved or executed (mostly in Ukraine) by Stalin’s forces. This did NOT increase Soviet grain production, as Stalin promised it would, but set it back 20 years. Only a Communist could believe murdering millions of your top farmers could increase crop yields. Nazi Germany’s genocide against Jews particularly, but Catholics, gypsies, the handicapped, and Christians generally is well known. Mao Zedong probably beats all in sheer numbers and comprehensive brutality. During the four years of the “Great Leap Forward” he killed about 45 million of his own people through forced starvation, and working or beating them to death. Prominent among his victims were the peasants who had helped bring him to power. Then in the later decade of the “Cultural Revolution” he murdered many of the very people he had used to enforce the Great Leap Forward. Put simply, socialism is the ideology of the death camp and atheism the theology of genocide.

The American Founders accomplished a myriad of astonishing things, not by adopting some ideology that relieved them of the obligation of studying evidence, facts, logic and history; but by considering all of these with starkly rigorous honesty, then working to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems. They created a self-governing republic that defended liberty while maintaining stability. It was an unprecedented accomplishment. They set up a system that allowed for the most vigorous of disputes to be settled without routine resort to violence and bloodshed. Given the history of the world, it was as striking, rare and fragile as a rose growing in a dung heap. They accomplished this primarily in two ways: First, they adopted universal standards of justice that were to be objectively applied to all, great and small. Standards could be changed by the majority act of the governed, but judges and law enforcement were to be governed by those standards rather than personal opinions or affections. Second was the separation of powers between legislative, executive and judicial authority so that none was supreme over the others, and the division of powers between the federal and state governments, creating a form of subsidiarity to prevent power from centralizing and becoming unaccountable. In the United States, you gained power by the persuasiveness of your case, not the force of your fist. Should you try, instead, to brutalize your opponent or commit violence to take power, the whole society would pursue your arrest and imprisonment. To sustain this, a great deal of emphasis was placed on maintaining the integrity of processes. This was critical for the same reason that process is critical to a baseball game. If umpires are routinely able to say that some batters only get two strikes before they are out and others get four, it won’t be long until confidence in the game itself collapses. To maintain public consensus in a system which all sometimes – and many, often – lose, the standards must be seen to be rigorously fair, objective and equally applied to all.

After a pause of about 50 years, nations throughout the globe slowly began to adopt versions of the American system, desperate to escape the routine violence and brutality that rocked their own systems. To get an idea of the proportion of human history and global geography that has lived in a society where disputes were settled by peaceful means rather than by violence and brute force, imagine a postage stamp on a football field. Many of us have lived on that postage stamp for so long we have forgotten how terrible the normal way of settling disputes was. And, so, a new atheist utopian movement has risen in America and the west. The movement is as ignorant as its forebears, as airily certain of its own brilliance and rectitude, as unwilling to engage in real and rigorous scholarship, and as impatient to impose its own vision on its contemporaries by any means necessary. Incapable – and unwilling to put in the effort – to accomplish its aims through persuasion of contemporaries, it thinks it has stumbled onto something new by subverting legal processes, using brute force, and encouraging violence to achieve its aims rather than something depressingly tiresome and old.

Confronted with the depredations of the atheist left, the leadership of Christians and the right has been utterly ineffective in defending freedom or even basic standards of law and jurisprudence. I am not entirely unsympathetic to the right’s impotence: it suggests, at least, that it knows how horrible things will get if the atheist left does not return to objective and equally applied standards of law, does not stand down from the rebellion against legal norms. So leaders on the right and among Christian communities make shows of good will, which do not lead the left to live by objective standards of justice, but persuade it that its shrieking hysteria is winning. Historically, there are only three ways stability is restored when a culture has reached this level of division and volatility. Either the aggressors stand down their violent rhetoric and riots (very rare), society cracks down on the aggressors with sufficient vigor to put an end to the offenses and sufficient restraint to let them re-integrate into lawful behavior without triggering opposite abuses (rarely well-calibrated), or widespread violent strife or revolution comes, to be contained ultimately by some level of dictatorial power.

The aftermath of the attempted mass murder of Republican Congressmen on June 14 makes it almost certain we will go the way of widespread violent strife. It is not the shooting itself that clinches it, but the aftermath. Even the healthiest societies are subject to occasional atrocities and tragedies. When an atrocity comes, a healthy society quickly and forcefully unites to condemn the terror in unambiguous terms. We had a day of pro forma denunciations and then went back to business as usual. Worse, many on the left – and in the establishment media – suggested that seriously wounded Congressman Steve Scalise brought it on himself by being conservative. Joy Reid of MSNBC suggested it was his fault for being “racist.” She gave no examples of his racism, because there are none – but the left has re-defined racism to mean being conservative, regardless of one’s actual attitudes on race. CBS Anchorman Scott Pelley hideously suggested that Scalise’s wounds were “self-inflicted” because of the injection of violent rhetoric into the political system. The only example of violent rhetoric Pelley showed came from Bernie Sanders, not Scalise. The gunman was a far-left Democrat who had volunteered on Sander’s campaign for president. This was not just a smear, but an incoherent one. Leaders on the right did not steel themselves to demand that the left adopt a commitment to equal justice under law. Lois Lerner, who oversaw targeting of Christians and conservatives at the IRS is still free and collecting her pension. John Koskinen, who headed the IRS during this targeting – and publicly dared Congress to do anything about it – is still IRS Commissioner. I could go through a litany of leftist violence against Christians and conservatives, but suffice it to note that it has reached critical mass and has mainstream left-wing approval.

While the modern left shares all the intellectual deficiencies of its socialist antecedents, it lacks their low animal cunning. Oh sure, it has adopted Orwell’s Newspeak enthusiastically. Just as Lenin maintained that the truest form of democracy is the dictatorship of the proletariat, just as Stalin adopted a constitution that promised free speech, so long as it was “proper” speech – any other kind would get you a one-way ticket to Siberia if it did not get you shot, the modern left comically calls its fascist tactics “anti-fascism;” calls attacks on free speech, liberty; and calls the flouting of the law, justice. It has failed in a critical respect, though, that all its predecessors took great care in. Marat, Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao all took great pains to cultivate substantial support in their countries’ military and police communities. They took great pains to heavily arm themselves while disarming the ordinary population. The modern left treats both the military and the police with open contempt and hostility. They have tried, ineffectively, to disarm the populace while ostentatiously disarming themselves. I am reminded of Casey Stengel’s forlorn lament about the incompetence of the ’63 New York Mets: “Don’t nobody here know how to play this game?”

The left’s agitation is like Peewee Herman trying to pick a fight with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime: the suspense continues only so long as Arnold ignores Peewee. As soon as he engages the fight is over. I can only think the left believes ordinary people will turn out to be as flaccid in defending themselves as conservative and Christian leaders have been in defending them. The people’s restraint thus far does not mean they will submit to be ruled and bullied by progressive whim. The restraint has held in the forlorn hope that the leadership class would defend both them and American traditions. And so, a great battle will come. Though the left has been agitating for it, the right will prevail (though it will be bloodier than it ever had to be had leaders simply done the job of insisting that equal standards of justice apply to all). Under normal circumstances, a right-wing dictatorship would prevail, at least for a time. What I would fear under those circumstances is that bitterness and anger would so reign for a time that the right might mount similar or worse depredations to what the left has mounted. Yet for all the historical reality and imperatives, I remain an optimist. It is because I know and trust in God, the God who, for the sake of ten righteous people, would have saved Sodom.

At Fatima 100 years ago, Our Lady promised that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph, despite the terrible offenses that man keeps inflicting on himself in defiance of God. I have said all along that a primary purpose of this Storm has been to reveal hearts, to show where people actually stand in contrast to what they say. How terrible it is to see so many hearts being revealed to hold such malice and venom! Since the inauguration I have re-visited some of my interpretations of what I have been shown (and have had much instruction, which I will not discuss). My optimism sometimes veered into naievete. I assumed that, if Our Lord revealed the Kingdom to all by sending Our Lady to appear to us all, people would stand down from their errant defiance. The furious, irrational and unrelenting rage of the atheist left since the inauguration has disabused me of that notion. I should have known. I wrote of the great atheist naturalist, Emile Zola, and how when he was presented with compelling evidence of God’s goodness and willingness to intervene through a miracle, just doubled down on his rage and hate. He would not accept something greater than himself under any circumstances, even if it were to destroy him. I knew that, with the raising of the siege of Orleans in 1429, St. Joan of Arc reversed in a few days the conviction of 85 years, both by the English and the French, that France could not survive as in independent nation. After that victory, neither the French nor the English thought France could ever be defeated – a complete reversal of the conventional wisdom of the past century. Even so, the fighting lingered on for another 24 years after all involved had concluded that subjugating France was a lost cause. Watching the furious malice of the atheist left the first half of this year, I no longer expect them to accept the embrace of Christ even after they know that defeat is certain and continued defiance will destroy them. It is the pointless nihilism of the satan’s original rebellion – and he rejoices in taking so many to share in his needless destruction.

In all of these events, God is not just reclaiming us, but instructing us in what we are called to do and to be. Most of those who read this site have not been involved in the assaults on the faith or on the faithful. Yet we were called to be guardians of the faith and defenders of the faithful. We have failed badly in that call. What are some of the lessons God would have us internalize?

First, we need to banish the myth of the milquetoast Christ. Jesus was not always gentle and sweet – and He most emphatically did NOT approve of everyone as they are. He was quite frequently harsh and condemning to those who, out of lust for power or self-congratulatory self-righteousness oppressed the faithful and the little ones. Read the Gospels. Many have abused the universality of Christianity – that no ethnic, racial, national or other external characteristics would be a bar to full Christianity to mean that even avowed enemies of the faith must be enabled in their assaults on the faith and the faithful. The blood of Christ has not gone anemic. He defended His own against such assaults – and we are to do the same.

Even so, victory is not in our hands. Victory is in the hands of God and not dependent on our calculations. We are all called to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. When we take that next right step, we become like one of Gideon’s 300 chosen men (Judges 7), invulnerable against even a multitude. But God’s primary intention is the rescue of the souls of as many of His children as can be rescued. We will all be held to account for every depredation against the faithful that we could have stopped, but did not out of timidity. We will also be held to account for every soul we could have effectively evangelized, but did not out of anger. It is an impossible task that we will often fail in – but God’s grace will justify us so long as we keep our eyes on and our hearts in Him. We are called to be just, to judge righteous judgment with both charity and resolve.

There are three great examples I like to contemplate when considering how to behave in extreme, tumultuous circumstances. First is St. Joan of Arc. Usually, for an hour or more before she commenced battle, she would plead with the English to retreat, to save themselves and to be just. On the occasion when they fled, she was content to let them go. But if they had not retreated after her pleas, it was all hammer and tongs until the victory was won. After it was won, she took great care to see that the wounded enemies were well cared for. She fought with vigorous resolve, but entirely without malice. Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address is one of the most beautiful and noble speeches ever given. Lincoln pressed on with unshakeable resolve to win the war, but did it with malice towards none and charity towards all. His main aspiration was to re-unite the country as brothers, not to destroy the rebels as enemies. Finally, there is the Rev. Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail. I cannot read it without misting up. It is the best instruction on how to resist evil without becoming the evil you resist I have ever read.

Do not fret about those good things you can’t do, lest you neglect the good you can. Don’t let either passion or apathy cause you to neglect the little good you can do, for such are the building blocks of God’s kingdom on earth. In short, play your position well, man your post, be it humanly little or grand. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.

A couple of years ago, I casually wrote a phrase I have come to cherish deeply. I wrote, As you look at your life, you cannot measure it by the books published, the soup kitchens worked, the refuges built-though if you do those things they are good. Rather, you must judge it from the perspective of the hope you inspired, the peace you spread, the joy you engendered, the love you kindled- for these are the sure marks of the Kingdom of God. All else is detail.” If we live this fully, God will seize the victory, for we will be a Godly people – and we will fully participate now as the heralds of the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

83 thoughts on “Edging Away From Gomorrah

    1. WOW! So much to think about! As usual,you write so well, that I wish it wouldn’t end! Thank you, again, for refueling my spirit & for “keeping my eyes straight ahead & on God.”

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Two thoughts:

    1) Having read George Orwell’s “1984” multiple times since I was a teenager, the very first time I heard mention of “hate speech” I knew it was trouble.

    2) I’ve been speaking lately with someone who claims the Era of Peace promised through the Immaculate Heart of Mary already happened when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall came down, and that we’re now (allegedly) very close to the End of the World, the Second Coming, Boom, It’s All Over! I respond as diplomatically as I can, especially since I have a different point of view and personally see the Era of Peace as being still in the future. Anyone have any suggestions on ways to politely respond to disagreements such as this?

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    1. This is not a full answer to your question, Phoenix, but I just read in the last day or two a quote from Sister Lucia of Fatima. Maybe it was an article on SpiritDaily, where she said “…when Communism rises again…” According to this thought, we will see Communism rise again and we are not out of the woods yet! Of course a Catholic might accept that from Sr. Lucia, but you may not be speaking with a Catholic. I don’t know how anyone can believe we are in an era of Peace.

      Mark Mallett has a good piece on The Resurrection of the Church which may tie into what you’re discussing. I’m sure someone with greater retention power than I can come up with more information for you. 🙂

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      1. Annie, I believe Communism has risen and we are living within it. Look at our current state of affairs here in the USA.

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      2. Hi Annie W., Sean Sullivan, Beckita, Phillip Frank, Leslyek,

        I think the quote about Communism rising again is from Garabandal? I can appreciate Mark Mallett, but am not sure if this other person will accept his words, although the quotes from Popes and the Bible will carry weight. So what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has to say sounds like it would be the best received and therefore the best information to study up on.

        It certainly seems to me that Communism is already here, based on my experiences regarding corporate America, for one thing.

        Precisely it is indeed the timeline which is up for debate, and is open to interpretation.

        Sometimes I wonder what the motive is of the person wanting to bring up this whole topic of the coming of the end of the world with me … are they sincerely wanting a deep discussion, are they open to hearing different views, do they simply enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing, etc. … In any case, best I can do is have a nice, reasoned, calm answer to give, including the Bible verse about “no one knows the day or hour except the Father in Heaven” about the ultimate end of the world. And at some point may end up respectfully agreeing to disagree and changing the subject.

        Thank you all for your kind input, it helps seeing how a civil discussion of this topic can go when carried out by objective third parties.

        Liked by 6 people

      3. My mother and father in law visited Medjugorje several times in the late 1980’s/1990’s. At there home in New Jersey there was a multitude of Marian literature. In one publication there was a BVM quote (I can only paraphrase) that Russia(USSR) would become more the United States but that the United States would become more like Russia(USSR). I believed the first because of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, but the second, I thought communism here, no way. And yet it all has been revealed to be true. Thanks Charlie for the history lesson. There are many who do not know it or recognize it. Some of us do though. I wanted it to be easy too. BVM appears and a good portion of the world converts. Fatima II. Can’t deny my disappointment. It has been a test of my faith.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. BTW, it all seems to be the same old evil repackaged in a new way. I think specifically of the causes of the rise of Nazi Germany and the rise of the USSR on fallacy.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. Phoenix,
      The biggest hiccup in any prophecy is its timeline. Some prophecies may happen locally, regionally or internationally. Some happen in parallel with other events. Our Lady clearly told Fr Gobbi that future events can be negated and even eliminated by prayer. In the same vane, more, worse or new events may come about because of the increase of evil in mankind from lack of prayer. Our Lady of Fatima revealed a new, never even heard of threat developing in Russia even before we were capable of understanding it. We may never have experienced communism if we had followed her directions and administered her wishes. Some mystics have said we barely avoided a nuclear war because of Our Lady’s intercession. If this is true, would we be having this “period of peace” such as it is, if She had not interceeded? Considering what it would have been like to live AFTER a global nuclear war, maybe this IS a type of period of peace?
      The reality is we really don’t know who is right and who is wrong about what the period of peace will be. Mark Mallett makes a good case study about it, but claims he doesn’t know for sure. Who could?
      At Fatima, God put the globe’s future in Our Lady’s hands and She put it right into our hands (scary thought!)
      Will we drop the ball?

      Liked by 7 people

    3. Phoenix, while I don’t always see eschatology in the same lens as does Emmett O’Regan, here’s a link to O’Regan’s coverage of how Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has spoken to these apocalyptic times. Our emeritus Pope highlights the reality that we yet await the fulfillment of the Fatima promise of an Era of Peace. http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com/2015/09/pope-benedict-xvi-on-chronology-of.html

      Pope Benedict makes a strong case for what Charlie and most Church-approved messages from Heaven have spoken to… we’re in the finishing stages of a transition through the end of these times which have included the undue influence of our Mother’s adversary. We can remember the vision of Pope Leo XIII in 1884 which prompted Pope Leo to compose the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column/the-100-year-test-2454 The author of this short piece mentions Our Lady of Akita. We are now living the phase which OLA said would come to pass: cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop, etc.

      Here’s a wonderful piece by Fr. Richard Heilman which addresses these things: https://www.romancatholicman.com/our-lady-of-fatima-1917-2017-why-100-years-matters/

      I believe no discussion of these things is complete without looking to the work of Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. He is a brilliant, erudite scholar who has invested years of study into culling the knowledge, insights and experiences of the twentieth century mystics. A very readable discussion of his findings is in his book: The Splendor of Creation: The Triumph of the Divine Will on Earth and the Era of Peace in the Writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Mystics. In my mind, Fr. Joe’s quotes from the Patristic writings, the many Doctors of the Church and Our Lord and Our Lady’s words to the mystics of our times make a compelling case for Fr. Joe’s premise that we have not yet entered the Era of Peace.

      Sometime, I would like to read Desmond Birch’s work: Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before, During, and After Antichrist. I’ve heard and seen him quoted many a time in pieces on the topic of eschatology.

      Addendum edit: Really, another important resource for where we are in the fulfillment of the Fatima Promises, comes straight from the mouth of Sr. Lucia, found in this article: http://www.motherofallpeoples.com/2005/06/sister-lucia-and-the-third-day-of-the-week-of-fatima/

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    4. I don’t bother much with prophetic time lines . . . I figure if it’s the End . . . then great. We’re supposed to be looking forward to that anyway. I have a hunch, though, that it isn’t. Mary promised an era of peace, right? But I get the distinct sense that she meant a real peace, where mankind is left in peace for a time . . .no war and no Satanic activity making life harder than it has to be during this peace. See, I have a hard time thinking that the period between the end of WWII and now was a true peace. So much evil that was brewed in those times has been showing itself for what it truly is only now. Even Communism. It began as an evil, violent burst, but was never eradicated, it has been growing like an infection throughout the world. It is the antithesis of Christianity, it’s the Us vs. Them illness of the world, a breakdown of society which unleashes a special kind of depravity on earth. In a nutshell, thinking of these future events and timelines is not wholly useful except in retrospect, but it is a cool way in which to speculate about the creativity and governance of God, which bolsters faith and emboldens hope. I lean towards the era of peace still to come, because I believe that Communism must finish trying to burn this world to the ground before there is a real peace, not heaven, but a peace that comes from the final, thorough, vanquishing of a foe.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I agree with you, Katherine: if this has been the Era of Peace, how is it that over 54,000,000 unborn babies have been murdered in the US alone?

        Liked by 6 people

    5. “I’ve been speaking lately with someone who claims the Era of Peace promised through the Immaculate Heart of Mary already happened ”

      Just tell them to take a look around. 😦

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hi Janet,

        I completely agree with you. The person I was speaking with on this apparently has a mentality of “this is as good as it gets” and thinks that we were at our best right after World War II … I sometimes wonder if the person just wants to engage with me for the sake of debate, or for some other motive. And that in the face of it, I should not allow any such argument to disturb my peace, but rather I should demonstrate Christian cheerfulness (not an unreal Pollyanna stick-your-head-in-the-sand rose-colored glasses outlook, but rather a continuing faith-in-God outlook).

        Because I can see bringing up the topic once. Now it’s been brought up more than once, so if it’s a habit for someone to keep bringing up a topic of disagreement in my presence which is discouraging (and I’ve heard it said that discouragement is from the devil), it kinda makes me question their motives, and it could well be a case of it being best not to give this person the kind of attention they’re seeking when they behave this way.

        In contrast, the Bible verses:

        “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8)

        and also

        “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “Do not fret about those good things you can’t do, lest you neglect the good you can. Don’t let either passion or apathy cause you to neglect the little good you can do, for such are the building blocks of God’s kingdom on earth. ”
    Charlie, your point above reminds me of the mustard seed passage,(Matt 17:20) where we through our mustard seed of faith become a vehicle of the Infinite just as our God, the Infinite, became the tiny seed in Mary. The mystery is how something so small, so weak and so insignificant can accomplish so much. But this mystery is answered in 1 Corinthians, “the weakness of God is stronger than the greatest of human strength”.

    Liked by 10 people

  3. I came upon this Papal encyclical (under my couch) after praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for all our Nations; Our National Leaders particulary those in Education including our school children. This encyclical published December 11, 1925 commences a new Feast on our Catholic Calandar:
    Pope Pius XI
    Introducing the Feast of Christ the King

    I recommend everyone read it as it holds truth toward our state of affairs. Particulary since Pope Francis has announced the upcoming Feast of “Mother of God”

    …goosebumps 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

        1. Dear BD,

          Soros is one the Lord has put on my heart to pray for. He’s in the age group that were most affected by the Holocaust. It’s likely that he lost family members in the camps. Many Jews who had been faithful for generations to the God of their fathers, lost their faith due to the horror inflicted upon their people during WW11. And yet, God used it for good. For out of the ashes of the Holocaust the modern State of Israel was reborn.

          Whenever I have the opportunity, I point out to them that evil didn’t win. “You are His witnesses,” I tell them, “You are part of the remnant that God promised would always survive. Because you live, we know He lives. Believe and hold onto His promises.”

          For thus says the Lord,

          ” I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
          They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
          They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
          They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
          I will plant them in their land,
          And no longer shall they be pulled up
          From the land I have given them,”
          Says the Lord your God. Amos 9:14-15

          To God be the glory…

          Liked by 4 people

          1. luvmercy5775. We have something in common. I too pray for Soros. I pray sooner rather than later, he and his minions are usurped from this world. Amen

            God Bless You luvmercy5775…

            Liked by 4 people

            1. A conversion ( or at least our protection from!)of those like Soros would be a victory of God.

              Let’s also remember Gentiles/Christians are grafted on as part of the New Jerusalem.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Leslyek,

                I’m reminded of the Divine Mercy prayer. “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. LEAD “ALL” SOULS TO HEAVEN. ESPECIALLY THOSE IN MOST NEED OF YOUR MERCY.”

                Speak the truth in love. For the Spirit of God is the power of God. And the power of God is love. Few can stand against it. Also recall Jesus said, “Some come forth only though prayer and fasting.”
                That I’ve never known to fail.

                And remember, “Judge not lest you be judged.” All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

                To God be the glory…

                Liked by 2 people

            1. Yes we are grafted in. Jesus said, “I came at first to call out for myself a people from among the Gentiles.” He also said, ” I come only for the lost sheep of the House of Israel ” This I believe refers to the ten lost tribes scattered among the Gentile nations. The House of Judah remains distinct. They truly are our “elder brothers and sisters. ” And they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

              Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Mick, I just couldn’t make myself return the rope, but I did say a few novenas. Don’t tell Charlie and Beckita that I didn’t return the rope, they’re so judgmental. 🙂

        Liked by 10 people

  4. Charlie,
    If every student was blessed to have a history teacher as eloquent, intellectually honest and knowledgeable as you, how differently they would respond to the tragedies around us.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. Gosh Charlie, this post (for me) needs to be read and re-read…….today before reading it, I sat “flaccid” in a meeting listening to errors about God (being a”she” or even a “teapot”), the Catholic Church, and homosexuals. The meeting is set up that everyone can speak their own mind and beliefs. I however did not take the opportunity to speak the “truth” that I know and what it means to me. I pray that the next opportunity I get, doesn’t pass me by. Mea culpa.
    “Edging away from Gomorrah” is a very appropriate title for these days and times…….its all around me and I feel smothered.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Sorry to complain, but I’ve had much difficulty reading the text on the site. The background color is nice and light, and the font is an attractive design, but the letters are simply too fine, too thin for Mine Eyes. This slows down my reading speed dramatically and is quite a strain, even using a high-res iPad Pro. Not sure if others are finding it tough to read. If the letters were all bold face like they are for the hyperlinks, I would certainly have no trouble reading.

    Disclaimer: My vision is 20/400 corrected to 20/10 for high contrast, plus I have progressives, so the problem may be at Mine End. 🤓🧐👀😳


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sorry about the difficulty reading, Patrick. Have you considered enlarging the font when you read the site? I’ll bet that would provide a good solution for you.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Website color palette for the Ordinary Man: background (#fff… #f6f6f6 if you want to dull the white and get fancy, type/headers (#231f20, #333333, etc.). I’ve never heard anyone object to too much white space. Ever.

            Liked by 4 people

          2. I recommend a different font. This one appears to be Helvetica, which is sans serif. Some people can have difficulty reading sans serif fonts. A serif font like Georgia or perhaps Times New Roman (or Times) or Palatino might work better for Patrick Daniel. Serif fonts have a bit more interpretive information in the lettering. I prefer serif fonts. They’re easier on the eyes.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Apple’s website it always a good example of how to clean it up. Just don’t use a thin font for the main body of text. I’m partial to san-serif, but just don’t want anyone struggling to read the much anticipated “Ballad of the Ordinary Man.” I think it’s going to be pivotal.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Very good point about Apple, MP. They do work hard on presentation. WordPress and this theme offer limited fonts. The new text font is something I’ve never heard of, called Merriweather. It’s a serif font that has a “Normal” size slightly larger than average. Daniel Patrick seems to be thriving on it, but now we need to see if others will start having difficulties and want to go back to the previous font. 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

            2. Some studies show that the curliecues in fonts like Times and Georgia give letters a more distinct look from each other, making them more readily recognizable to the brain. Thicker letters are also easier to read.

              Here’s the Lighthouse for the Blind website. They developed a font especially for low vision readers (like Patrick Daniel) making each letter completely unique and distinguishable from every other. It’s not as elegant as some designs, but it apparently increases reading speed significantly. I find it effortless to read.


              Thanks for considering this.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. My thanks to Steve, too. I have very powerful close-up vision, which is good for me, but handicaps me in making fonts user-friendly. Ah, it is good to have such a talented team!

                Liked by 4 people

    2. I agree with Patrick. I use a ipad and resizing maintains the same problem. A white background with black text is optimum.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I realize how intensely the two sides forming: those like me who chose what they did, and those like those who oppose me and hate what I stand for, and those in between who will gravitate either way, are coming to a head. And that the strong feelings will express themselves one way or the other; and I fight to not despair nor become despondent.
    The right acts — NRS –bring enough stabilizing joy so far…the rest is Faith ( or Trust:)
    Because, if I myself feel so strongly the need to stop ‘them’, and that it goes both ways,, then….

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Charlie, you said “if I did not know that God IS and that the Immaculate Heart of Mary WILL triumph, I would be in despair.” You are not alone in those thoughts. After all, what’s going on all over the world is nothing to be happy about. Truth and justice are no where to be found. When abortion became the law of the land, we started to go downhill. God is giving us hope with President Trump (thank God it’s not President Hillary). Many rosaries are needed, especially with The Flame of Love Devotion. St. Padre Pio said, “Pray, Hope and don’t worry.” That’s what I’m gonna do. Please join me. God bless one and all !!

    Liked by 13 people

  9. I’ll need to reread your post later Charlie, it’s a lot of information to take in one read.

    Something I have been pondering lately is: “More mercy or more justice?” It’s funny how in politics these two viewpoints are split apart as two sides of a coin or as opposites… Jesus is both just & merciful at the same time, he doesn’t flip flop between the justice & mercy. We as human beings will choose whether we want God’s mercy or his judgement.

    The political right focuses on justice (consequences) at the expense of mercy (poverty), and the political left focuses on mercy (equality) at the expense of true justice (Christianity). It’s like everyone is being baited & teased to choose only one… God’s ways are definitely not our ways, considering how God is equally just & merciful at the same time…

    Liked by 7 people

  10. My only Hope that we, are, in fact, moving away from Sodom & Gomorrah is the fact that I’m, finally, see PushBack not only in the realm of politics but within the Church too. Mike Voris’s article points out a small victory where The Faithful took a stand. Now! Why would I possibly think that the same dioceses/parishes that would accept the Gay Agenda message would also accept, backdoor at the moment, the Abortion Agenda … or any of “The Agendas” of the “Left”? ……. Eh?!!?
    …….. and when Faithful Catholics object the above excoriate, libel and marginalize them …. just as they do with Trump & his Deplorables. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my belief that The Church has been in Slow-Schism for 50+ years….. when Vatican II was Hi-Jacked by The Usual Suspects and “Regular” Catholics were napping like Rip van Winkle.
    “Things” be moving fast now, Gang!! As those evil Boy Scouts used to say: Be Prepared!!

    “OH, THE DRAMA – Homosexual clergy can’t live without it.”



    Liked by 6 people

  11. Some bittersweet news of a Irish American Patriot & Hero.

    “Navy Names Destroyer After Irish Marine Patrick Gallagher”


    … and since St patrick’s Day is upon us, here if the famous Irish Tenor, John McCormack in a 1912/13 recording ..Yes!! … 1912/1913:

    “The Wearing of the Green”

    “Nearer My God to Thee”

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!! …. and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  12. some many years ago (perhaps in the 70’s), I intuitively recognized the stupidity of those Americans who thought that just giving foreign groups freedom, it would automatically make them American like. I recognized that they would more likely apply their own culturally guided inclinations. I saw this was true but I didn’t know why. Charlie has provided the real answer. The common human reaction is to use power to impose its own will, for good or for evil. The real key to American goodness can be summed up in “(equal) justice for all!) Not a natural historical reality as shown by Charlie. And it is this lack of equal justice for all, as pointed out by Charlie which, if unchecked, will result in the destruction of our nation and the world. How few Americans recognize this truth and how few are recognizing it and teaching it? Let us earnestly pray for this outcome. May the Holy Spirit continue to protect and guide us, lead us to all holiness and truth. Watch and pray, pray and watch. TRUST in the Lord. TNRS

    Liked by 8 people

  13. Charlie, it’s always worthy to review your pieces. When I read a news report this morning, I thought of your observation which is surely so: “We are closer to Rwanda right now than we think.”

    This kind of rhetoric is evidence that we are in grave danger:
    Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said Friday that he’s “had it” with President Trump, saying his presidency has become a “very serious security threat” for the country.

    “This presidency is a very serious security threat for the United States,” Garamendi said during an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

    “I ought to say, it’s time to get this guy out of there.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi family
    While thinking of making a comment I tried to think how can I add anything that would be helpful and came across the link below that seemed to relate to Charlie’s post.


    I also thought of Ben Franklin’s quote “The Man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Trouble is that most people (excluding my patients 😂 ) are not aware they have been manipulated.

    In osteopathy we have a couple of principles
    1 The Rule of The Artery is Supreme – our health suffers when blood and lymph do not freely access the tissues. In Judaeo-Christian tradition blood means life. By Christ’s blood we are saved. Blood brings life and healing. Just so the lymph,”The Lamb”, takes away the sin of the world – all that poisons the body. The culture of D.E.A.T.H. (divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total commitment to contraception and homosexuality) stems the flow of blood at every turn.

    2 “Structure governs function.” Superficial remedies are worthless. The root cause must be identified and addressed. As Charlie says “our ills are primarily structural. Our foundation has been badly damaged – and getting new windows is not going to fix that.”

    And finally I thought of a quote attributed to Malcolm Muggeridge, BBC commentator, former atheist and converted by the example of Mother Theresa, when addressing homosexuality many years ago
    “It used to be illegal, now it is legal and soon it will be compulsory.” How true this has become of so many aspects of life in the present times. These days it is more acceptable by far to promote homosexuality then Christianity, more acceptable and far, far less dangerous.

    PS Has anyone else seen the Japanese insult in ASOH. Schoolboy humour – keeps me young.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said, Joe. The enemy would delight in pulling us under in this quicksand of our culturally disordered ways. How blessed is the Hope proclaimed by our Mother in her promise to be our Safe Refuge and in the various prayers she has urged us to pray. Clinging to the truth that where sin abounds, grace abounds the more, for Christ’s Light ever shines in the darkness. 🔥🙏❤️

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I have a Japanese sister-in-law who is delightful and always very sweet to me. Thankfully, she has not complained (though I suspect she may have made an inscrutable little smile at the abbreviation).

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Charlie,
    I would love to see you and Jordan Peterson in a discussion. He seems to be talking to everyone, but only one true Catholic that I know of so far. It would be so interesting, and SO beneficial!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mdasteel, I hadn’t heard of Jordan Peterson until last week, when Bishop Barron’s last two Word on Fire podcasts spoke of him. More recently, the Bishop Barron has added a video too.

      Liked by 2 people

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